People You Should Know – Joe Brown, Director of Development Rio Grande Valley Community Foundation


IMG_9232-EditJoe Brown is wearing a new hat. Known throughout the area for his years of banking experience, moving into the retirement arena just didn’t quite fit him. Becoming Director of Development for the Rio Grande Valley Community Foundation fit him to a tee. Using his formidable background, it will be an easy switch for him to continue guiding the works of the foundation.

In 2000, Steve Ahlenius suggested the area needed a community foundation, and he was the force behind getting it developed into a 501(c)(3). It is a separate entity from the Chamber.

Community foundations have been around since 1914, when banker  Frederick Goff convinced the Cleveland Trust board to adopt a Resolution and Declaration of Trust creating the Cleveland Foundation – the first community foundation.

Organized to provide philanthropic options for individuals, businesses and organizations, community foundations aid them in intelligent giving and assisting the givers to reach charitable goals.

If someone wanted to donate money for scholarships, for example, and wanted the tax benefit, he or she could work through the foundation. The foundation would handle the whole process of finding the suitable recipient(s) to fit the criteria of the gift, while making sure the donation was eligible for a tax credit.

The foundation is the easiest way to handle a wide variety of charitable contributions, while receiving maximum benefits such as the right to name the fund, and greater flexibility in both creating the fund and in designating the recipient(s) of their contributions.

For Joe, it’s a home run, a natural extension of his career, allowing him the ongoing freedom for his other side involvements – among them Games of Texas and his work with umpires in high school softball.

The RGV Community Foundation has already been successful in helping match many individuals and organizations with suitable and deserving grant and scholarship recipients. And with a year’s experience now, he is working to take the Foundation to even greater heights.